If you’re not one of the few masochist travelers who actually enjoy packing (like this author), smartphone technology is here to help. These six mobile packing apps can make the process as quick, painless, and even mindless as possible.
For Almost Everyone: PackTeo
Available for Android
There are packing apps for every flavor of traveler: from control freaks to those who appreciate a dead-simple wizard to walk them through every step of the packing process. PackTeo promises to be all things to all people. Whatever your packing style, the app’s user-friendly design makes it a snap to use. For those who like to be in control, the app allows for adding specific details about everything in your luggage like weight and which bag you plan to put it in. Alternatively, the built-in templates mean you can easily pick from a few dozen typical lists (say, “Camping,” “Cycling,” and “International”) without having to create your own from scratch.
For Globe Hoppers: Packr
Available for iOS
Packr has one thing going for it that’s lacking in most other packing apps: multi-destination trip planning. It seems like a strange oversight, but most of its competitors don’t offer this feature. For that reason alone, it’s the best on this list for globe hoppers who typically plan medium- or long-term, multi-country trips. It’s otherwise similar to the others on this list, offering a solid list of features that includes auto-generated packing lists, the ability to share your lists with others, and weather forecasting for your next destination.
For List Lovers: Easy Pack
Available for Android
Easy Pack isn’t the best packing app overall on this list, but there’s a lot to like about it. First, it’s lightweight, and its creators promise it’ll be free forever. Second, while its competitors rely on trip-centric list creation, Easy Pack takes a unique bag-centric approach. So, for example, if you take the same messenger and duffle bags on every trip, it’s easier to create several listed “bags,” then re-use them for each new trip. The app takes into account unique points about upcoming trips like whether you’re traveling with pets, the type of stay, and any transportation concerns. Lastly, it doubles as a daily planning app to help you prep for more mundane activities close to home like, say packing for a day at the beach or taking your dog on a hike.
For the Ultimate Lazy Traveler: PackPoint
Available for iOS or Android
For travelers who are thoroughly packing averse, it doesn’t get much simpler than PackPoint. It’s clear that a great deal of thought went into the user interface. The streamlined design offers a simple, wizard-like process to handhold users through every step of packing. Just launch the app and enter a few basic details like the date of your trip, where you’re heading, any activities you plan on doing while there (e.g. hiking, swimming, beach-going, etc.), and whether it’s for business, leisure, or both. PackPoint checks the weather forecast and pre-populates a packing list with a best-guess of everything it thinks you might need. Most travelers can likely make due with the basic features in the free version, although the paid version offers far more customization capability. The additional features make this our go-to app for free and paid users: TripIt integration and easy sharing functionality (to keep your family and friends posted about your travel plans). It’s also the only packing app on this list available for both major mobile platforms.
For the Control Freak: Packing Pro
Available for iOS (paid)
If you’re not keen on packing but still appreciate being in full control of the process, Packing Pro is your man. The app lacks the polish of the others mentioned here, and it can feel a bit confusing on first launch. But, it makes up for it with extreme versatility. Every item on your packing list can be customized with a dizzying array of options like which bag it goes in, the item’s level of importance for your overall trip, weight, monetary value, and the list goes on. Users can create specific packing list templates (say, one for business and one for leisure) and even templates within templates. This is an app designed for serious “power-user” type travelers.
For the Every Man Traveler: PackKing
Available for Android
PackKing‘s user interface is simple and streamlined like PackPoint, although it lacks some of the panache. The free version offers a few more features than the former, though, which is why we like it for most “average” travelers. It offers a long list of activities “baked-in,” like Hiking, Photography, Beach, Dog, and Mobile Office. All of these include their own related items, so it’s easy to fine-tune your packing list no matter where you’re going or what you’re doing. It also asks if and how often you’ll be doing laundry while traveling, which can seriously lighten your clothing load.